Last year on Thanksgiving Day, I was flying over the Atlantic, worried, scared. My mother had just been diagnosed with breast cancer and I was coming back to be with her through surgery and recovery. So much unknown. It’s times such as those that the reality of living so far away hits home.
This Thanksgiving, I sit calmly in Paris where a strange sun is breaking through the gray clouds, a sky that might even promise snow. I am thinking about all that I have to be grateful for, how light can pierce through what at first looks bleak.
I am happy to report that my mom is doing great; breast cancer is something we can beat. I am also grateful that despite the distance, the ocean cannot break the most important of bonds. In fact, I think being an expat makes me think even more about gratitude, how much I have to be thankful for in my life. Sometimes, at a remove, we can see how precious everything is; stand back and we see things shine.
This past year has been quite challenging, on many different levels. There have been times that I felt my light burning low. But it is also through struggle that I become so intensely aware of the many gifts that surround me. Daily miracles. I am one of the luckiest people on earth. I know what love means.
I have family, friends, my health, my imagination, my dreams, a beautiful city, new possibilities, opportunities – and a voice inside me that tells me to leap at them with everything I have.
I am also grateful for your readership and comments. Thank you. I wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving filled with joy.